This is part two in a two-part installment. Please click here to read Bryan Holt’s irreverent commentary on real sports and faux-sports. Or simply scroll down, lazy ass. No, I’m only kidding. Enjoy.
This week we begin with the big guns up in Washington. And since I’m out of Gilbert Arenas jokes, let’s talk about the prez.
On Wednesday night, President Obama addressed a joint Congress in the first of his annual State of the Union addresses. To the chagrin of a befuddled Mike Ditka, the president spoke for 71 minutes without touching once on the collective bargaining agreement, the potential for a 2011 strike, or plans to secure video game royalties for retired Union members.
Obama focused instead on getting the country back to work, calling for the creation of a comprehensive jobs bill only after highlighting recent successes in the anything-is-possible fight to combat unemployment:
New Bills hire Chan Gailey and recent Brewers acquisition Jim Edmonds.
With John Roberts and the rest of the Supreme Court justices prominently seated in the chamber’s front left rows, the president tore into the bench’s decision to overhaul campaign finance regulation.
“American elections shouldn’t be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities,” Obama said.
While Roberts and others remained stoic, justice Sam Alito was caught mouthing the words “not true.”
Moments later, Joe Biden was caught mouthing the words, “I haven’t seen a public undressing like this since Owens-Garcia.”
Some accused the president, who tossed the occasional bone to undeserving Republicans, of using his pulpit as a partisan instrument for political expediency. I agree.
To me, touting tax cuts to the Right when the country is $1.4 trillion in debt seems just as opportunistic as when Wolf Blitzer changed his name to The Situation (Room).
In response to President Obama’s speech, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was so overjoyed that he tried to stick his foot in his mouth. This is what he said:
You “forgot he was black tonight”? I didn’t. Not only was the president by far the coolest guy in the room, he reminded me that I haven’t seen an African American star surrounded by this many incompetent white men since Danny Granger’s Pacers came to town.
On the same night, but on the topic of health care, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, “We’re on the two yard-line. Let’s not give up now.”
I can’t speak to the validity of this statement. I can only tell you that if Congress is really on the two-yard line with a health care package, LaDainian Tomlinson is going to throw a fit if he doesn’t get at least three chances to punch this baby in.
Wrapping up our Washington coverage, both the blogosphere and cable news stations were buzzing when news broke of a State of the Union drinking game making the “rounds” at college campuses.
Politically active students across the nation downed a shot and shouted “You tell the truth!” every time television cameras turned to Rep. Joe “You Lie!” Wilson (R-SC). I don’t know about you, but I think this is just the kind of initiative and youthful creativity we need to make our country great again.
Let’s talk sports.
Yankees hero Alex Rodriguez accepted the Baseball Writers’ postseason MVP award during an emotional ceremony in New York Saturday night. According to the Associated Press, A-Rod, who hit .365 with 6 home runs and 18 RBI during the playoffs, turned around his chaotic spring by returning to a simplified mantra: Gym, tan, laundry.
From the AP story: “’Postseason MVP award. Wow,’ Rodriguez said Saturday night. Pausing for effect, he added, ‘What’s next, the good guy award?’”
No, Alex, unfortunately backne and shrinking testicles.
In other steroid offender news, Baltimore Orioles owner Peter “The Inspiration for Fredo Corleone” Angelos inked free agent shortstop/ Mitchell Reporter Miguel Tejada to a 1-year, $6 million deal, greasing the skids for a Hugh Grant-Elizabeth Hurley reunion.
Talk about returning to the scene of the crime. Sports fans haven’t witnessed something this uncomfortable since Bill Romanowski last walked into a CVS.
A week after the formal negotiating deadline, a group chaired by Pittsburgh billionaire mogul Chuck Greenberg and Rangers President Nolan Ryan finally hammered out a deal Saturday to buy the Texas baseball franchise from owner Tom Hicks.
When asked what prompted Hicks’ aggressive attorneys to finally back off the asking price of $570 million, Ryan said, “Away. Away. Away. High and hard.”
The contentious talks dragged on longer than expected as Hicks’ lawyers tried to strong-arm Ryan and Co. despite steady counsel from the White Sox’ Robin Ventura advising otherwise.
Sticking with baseball, on Tuesday, Oakland GM Billy Beane signed free agent pitcher Ben Sheets and his reconstructed right elbow to a 1-year, $10 million contract plus incentives. The move was seen in scouting circles as a partial improvement over Beane’s last offseason when he set $10 million on fire.
In response to Beane’s initial overages, Sheets said in his press conference, “It got me excited and got me thinking about this place. I think we’ll do fantastic this year.”
NO. WAY. Dr. James Andrews was thinking the EXACT SAME THING.
Turning now to fabricated stories, Gators head coach Urban Meyer says he plans to coach his team’s spring practice. Like a typical male, however, Meyer did not apologize to Steve Addazio for leading him on or Chris Mortenson for wasting the best year of his life.
Raiders 80-year-old owner Al Davis announced this week that he will be retaining the services of his current head coach. Davis’ team is coming off a 5-11 season and hasn’t topped the five-win plateau since 2002. Still, whatever happens with the coaching situation, you gotta admire a really old guy for giving Cable a shot.
On to financial news, top seed producer Monsanto released a promising quarterly report this week and reiterated the strength of its dividend. High seeds Nadal and Venus did not fair as well.
And in futbol, Real Madrid midfielder Christiano Ronaldo was suspended two games for punching Malaga’s Patrick Mtilliga in the nose during the 70th minute of a Jan. 19 La Liga match.
Still, it could’ve been much worse for one of the world’s top athletes. The last time a Ronaldo was grabbing American headlines, it was for an unfortunate nightclub incident involving transvestite prostitutes.
Welcome to Sports Casualties, soccer!
Bringing this puppy full-circle, No. 1-ranked Kentucky basketball fell to a 12-7 South Carolina team after President Obama encouraged the Wildcats by phone to “keep their focus” and “play with the same passion that brought them to the top.”
However, the loss was hardly surprising given how Congressional Democrats have responded to similar pleas.
On a personal note, I would like to relay a moving encounter I had while doing my laundry at a local ‘mat last Friday. Halfway through folding my clothes, a mother and her late-teenage son became transfixed by the Spike channel’s re-airing of Brock Lesnar-Randy Couture on the corner TV. They began nervously cheering for Couture, and I simply didn’t have the heart to break the news. I myself was transfixed – just a salt of the earth family bonding over a gladiatorial bloodsport.
Or, as Bryan Holt would call them, “My kinda people!”
I go in peace.